First order of business this morning was to rent a minivan. I biked six miles to the Rochester, MN airport and found the Enterprise rental counter. The guy there wasn’t the most helpful and after a little confusion and time wasted, I finally had a key in my hand. I threw my bike in the back of the van and rushed back to the motel to pick up Caroline. It was almost check-out time so we hurried to load her bike and our gear into the van. Whew, we just made it. First stop was at a nearby Target for some items we needed for our upcoming two week road trip. We got a small cooler, some ice, groceries, etc. With the cooler we’ll actually be able to carry cheese and butter without it going bad. What a luxury!
After Target we hit the interstate and were flying along. As the day went on the wind blew harder and made us more happy that we were driving instead of biking across the plains of Minnesota and South Dakota. We passed a lot of wind turbines rotating quickly, another sure sign that this is windy country. As Caroline took her turn behind the wheel I dozed in the passenger seat. As much as I like traveling by bike, I haven’t figured out a way to take a nap while still riding the bike. Another point in favor of car travel.
We did make one stop today in Mitchell, South Dakota. Some of you probably already know the only reason to stop in Mitchell: the Corn Palace! I wasn’t expecting too much, but it’s actually pretty cool how they use the different colors of corn to create murals high on the walls. We snapped a few photos and returned to the highway.
Tonight we’re camping along the Missouri River in Chamberlain, SD. It’s amazing how far we traveled today compared to our usual biking pace. And tomorrow we should reach Mount Rushmore! I feel a little guilty that we’re not biking the whole way, but that guilt is outweighed by the joy of speeding through this relatively boring and windy part of the country. I’m glad we decided to take this little “vacation” to hasten our arrival on the Pacific coast.